9:11 AM

In the Author Spotlight & Contest

Allie Boniface

CONTEST: From all readers who post a comment, Allie will draw one name to receive a free download of either of her new audio books, One Night in Memphis or Lost in Paradise. Or, if the winner prefers, he/she can choose a free download of Allie's latest contemporary romance novel, One Night in Napa.

AL: Hi Allie Thanks for being in the “Author Spotlight” this week.

Allie: Ann, I’m so excited to be here! Along with my upcoming May 2010 print release, One Night in Napa, I have two other titles releasing in audio book format this month!

AL: So, tell us what’s happening with you.

Allie: Well, outside of trying to finish up a couple of writing projects, I’m also swimming in papers to be graded (I’m a high school English teacher) and planning my vacation for spring break.

AL: What do you have for us to read?

Allie: Read…or hear? One Night in Napa will be available from Samhain Publishing in May. It’s my third “One Night” book, which features a contemporary romance that unfolds over 24 short hours. One Night in Memphis, which released in print with Samhain Publishing in 2009, was an EPPIE finalist and received a 4-star review from Romantic Times. Now, it’s available in audio book format for the first time!

AL: What are you currently working on?

Allie: Ooh, that’s a very good question! Well, I’m finishing up final revisions on another contemporary romance, Entwined, which moves back and forth between two different time periods and follows the stories of two different (but related) love affairs. And believe it or not, I’m also in the initial draft of an untitled Young Adult novel. Yes, I’m jumping genres!

AL: When did you know you had to be a writer?

Allie: As young as I can possibly remember. I was always writing stories even in elementary school, much to the dismay of my teachers!

AL: What do you hope for your writing career in the next few years? Any goals that you have yet to obtain that you have set for yourself?

Allie: Really, I hope to simply continue to write, and to see growth in my own writing. I’m enjoying the challenge of writing in a new genre (YA), so we’ll see where that takes me!

AL: Which of your heroines best resembles you and why?

Allie: Hmm…if you ask my mom, she’ll say Ash, the heroine in my very first novel, Lost in Paradise. Ash is very smart, very independent, but hesitant to trust the people around her. Though I don’t share all of her qualities, I suppose when we first start writing, we inevitably draw on our own experiences and personal stories!

AL: I see in your bio you love to travel all over the world. Why is it you especially love to visit Germany?

Allie: Germany is a gorgeous country with incredibly friendly people, delicious food, and great beer. Need I say more?

AL: If you kissed a frog, what would he turn into?

Allie: The hero in my next story. 

AL: If you could meet someone famous in either history, or present day…who would you like to meet and why?

Allie: I’ll go with Jane Austen – her birthday is the day after mine, she’s the grand dame of the romance genre, and she was a smart feminist. I’d love to talk men and writing with her!

AL: What favorite movie; or T.V. show makes you hunker down on the sofa and settle in for the night?

Allie: I have a few, but my newest favorite is “The Mentalist.” It’s clever, well-written, and Simon Baker is one yummy investigator!

AL: Please share a favorite quote(s) with us.

Allie: It’s a long one, but it’s wonderful:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous,
talented and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other
people won't feel insecure around you.

We were born to make manifest the glory of
God that is within us.

It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people
permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.

- Marianne Williamson

AL: Thanks so much for sharing with joining us this week, Allie.

Allie: Ann, thank you for having me here! If you’d like to know more about either of my audio books, or any of my print titles, please visit my website at:

www.allieboniface.com
http://samhainpublishing.com/authors/allie-boniface

FEATURED TITLE: ONE NIGHT IN NAPA

Blurb:

Can anything change in 24 hours? Can everything?

Journalist Grant Walker has one chance to salvage his job and his relationship with his domineering father. Terrorists have kidnapped a fading film star's son, and Grant has scored the first interview with the grieving mother. Even better, a new twist has just arrived on the scene-an illegitimate granddaughter who hasn't been heard from in seven long years. It's the story of a lifetime, and all Grant has to do is deliver.

After discovering a terrible secret about her birth, Kira March left home vowing never to return. With her father kidnapped and her grandmother cracking under media pressure, it's up to her to find and destroy all evidence of that secret. Trouble is, a reporter has weaseled his way into the house looking for answers-and he isn't leaving until he gets them.

Yet as the hours pass, Kira finds herself falling for the very man who could destroy her. And when Grant comforts her in the wake of a midnight tragedy, he remembers why it's a bad idea to get emotionally involved with an interview subject. Especially when the family name is on the line.

Excerpt:

1:00 p.m.

“Want a corn muffin? Just took a fresh batch out of the oven.”

Kira moved a wet rag in circles over the front counter of Permanent Addiction. “I’m not hungry.” She never ate this early in the day. She didn’t know how the rest of the normal world functioned, getting up at dawn and working through the daylight hours. In that sense, she did feel a little bit vampire-like. Give me a coffin to sleep in anytime, she thought, and draw the blinds. The darker the better. Moonlight was much less offensive than the sun.

Felix put one hand on her shoulder. She could smell her boss’s Polo cologne, a touch too strong as usual. “Then at least go in back and take a break.”

She glanced at the few customers scattered around the room and tossed her rag into the sink. “Okay.” She dug into the pocket of her skirt for her cigarettes. One of these days she’d quit. She’d promised her father that years ago, though she’d started smoking at the too-young age of fourteen. Of course, he’d broken enough promises of his own, so she wasn’t sure she owed him any loyalty. She grabbed a pack of matches on her way out the back door.

Kira sank to a seat on the bumpy back sidewalk and stretched out her legs. A quiet, narrow alleyway, big enough for bikes and pedestrians, ran the length of the block. From the coffee shop’s back door she could stare straight into the kitchen of Rosie’s Grille and the storeroom of a new art gallery. Boxes tumbled onto the sidewalk behind the gallery, marked Fragile and ripped to shreds. She could hear voices somewhere inside calling back and forth in a melodic Spanish lilt.

Beyond the storefronts, above the trees, rose the Sierra Buttes, huge hulking mountains that hugged the town of Yuba City. Guardians, Scotty called them, a landmass that kept the weather calm and the people happy. Today the sun bounced off their peaks, and though Kira knew that snow still topped them, from here they looked like bare, rippling pastures.

She took a long, satisfying drag on her cigarette and wondered how living near a certain landscape might shape you, growing up. Did children who lived in the shadows of a mountain range spend their earliest days looking up, dreaming, watching the clouds make shapes? If you moved those same children to a seaside home, would they lose that distant vision? Would they start looking out rather than up, or develop a rhythmic gait that matched the waves they slept and woke to? Did growing up inside a city of skyscrapers create tunnel vision from the day you were born? Or did living your earliest years inside gated walls mean you looked at the world in fragments, in sliced-up pieces, so that you could never see the whole of something for what it truly was?

Kira exhaled a ribbon of smoke and stared at the concrete between her feet. She hated the day after a film wrap. There was such a sense of finality, such a letdown, like the day after Christmas times one hundred. All that build-up, the anticipation chewing at your stomach night and day, and then you woke to find a plain old ordinary day followed the thrill of Santa shoving gifts down your chimney. Kira chewed at a hangnail. Not that Christmas had ever been a traditional family event in her home. Nothing traditional about that home at all.

“Can I bum one?” A man moved into her light and cast a shadow across her lap.

Kira tilted her head back and squinted. She tipped one out of the pack and handed it over.

“Thanks.” He squatted beside her, eased himself to a seat and flipped out a yellow lighter.

She glanced at him and recognized the profile. Thirty-something, lanky, quiet. He came in almost every week, usually on Fridays. Ordered a double espresso and a bagel, plain.

“Didn’t know you smoked,” she said.

“Didn’t know you did.”

She stubbed out her butt. “Trying to quit.”

“Aren’t we all.”

He was good-looking, she decided, tall and wiry, with a crooked nose that had probably been broken more than once. Round glasses sat on the very end. Bluish-gray eyes swam behind them.

“Name’s Alex.”

“Kira.”

Alex caught her gaze and held it. “Hey, have we met someplace? I mean, besides the coffee shop?”

She shook her head. “I don’t think so.”

“You look familiar.”

“Please don’t use that line on me.”

He blinked, then laughed out loud. “Do you really hear that a lot?” He shook his head. “It wasn’t a line, believe me. I just tend to remember most striking women I meet.” He folded his arms over his knees. “There’s something about your face…or your eyes, actually.”

Kira’s jaw twitched.

“Hey…you know who you look like?”

She froze. “Uh, who?”

“That actress who disappeared a few years back. Edoardo Morelli’s kid.” He stared. “You aren’t—nah…stupid question, right?” He chuckled. “What would she be doing in a place like this?”

What, indeed?

“Yeah. Stupid question.”

But he was still staring at her. “You heard what happened to Morelli, right?”

“What?”

Alex let out a stream of smoke. “Got kidnapped by a bunch of terrorists or something. Over in the Middle East somewhere. It’s all over the news.”

Kira hurried inside and flipped on the flat-screen TV that hung in the break room.

Patti, the other waitress, pushed open the door. The double-chinned woman kicked off her beige Aerosoles and sank into the chair beside her. “Felix said you were talking to some guy out back.”

“Yeah. For a few minutes. It was nothing.”

“You know, any other single woman would be snapping up those phone numbers you get all the time.” Patti plopped plump elbows on the table. “You got a boyfriend somewhere that nobody knows about? Or a girlfriend?”

Kira switched channels. “Nothing that exciting, sorry.” A daytime soap opera cued up. The music swelled, the characters wrestled their way into bed, and the scene faded with a close-up shot of the headboard vibrating. But just as the soap’s resident vixen strode in and started yelling, the picture changed and faded out. A local news anchor flickered onto the screen, and a bright blue banner scrolled across the bottom, with the ominous words “Special Report” flashing on and off.

“What the heck?” Patti plopped her chin in one palm and stared.

“We interrupt our regularly scheduled program to bring you this news update…” The anchor scowled into the camera. “…international film star Edoardo Morelli has just been taken hostage by a radical terrorist group…”

Kira dropped the remote.

“…at this point authorities are releasing no other information. However, one source reports that Middle Eastern news station Al Jazeera broadcast a picture of Morelli bound at the wrists and ankles approximately an hour ago. Again, we have no additional information about the motive of this terrorist group or their demands…”

“Oh my God. Wow.” Patti hunched forward in her chair. “That’s scary.” Her eyes blinked rapidly. “He’s such a hunk, too.” She whistled.

“Viewers may recall that Morelli’s daughter Isabella vanished from their home in Napa Valley nearly seven years ago,” intoned the commentator. An instant later, a picture of a female Edoardo look-alike with long hair flashed onto the screen.

“Hey, doesn’t that look like…” Patti trailed off and turned to look at Kira. Her mouth dropped open.
 
REMEMBER: From all readers who post a comment, Allie will draw one name to receive a free download of either of her new audio books, One Night in Memphis or Lost in Paradise. Or, if the winner prefers, he/she can choose a free download of Allie's latest contemporary romance novel, One Night in Napa.
 
 

6 comments:

Cate Masters said...

Great interview, Ann and Allie! Audiobooks - how exciting! And your WIP sounds great too. Best of luck with your new release!

Allie Boniface said...

Thanks, Cate! And thanks too, Ann, for hosting me!!

G W pickle said...

Great interview and I really loved your quote. I wish you luck with your soon to be released book

Natashia said...

WOW - I read your excerpt from your book and it sounds so intriguing. Well done. Good luck for the future.

Allie Boniface said...

GW and Natashia, thanks for stopping by!

Adan said...

Thanks, Cate! And thanks too, Ann, for hosting me!!